If Dunkin Donuts Could Afford to Be Honest

Their press release for this would read as follows:

Because Michelle Malkin is so appallingly stupid and/or ignorant that it appears that she can’t tell the difference between a paisley scarf and a kiffiyeh, we’re pulling our ad of Rachel Ray enjoying our iced coffee. We do hope that once Ms. Malkin extracts her head from between her own ass cheeks, she stops by one of our many establishments and samples one of our fine iced coffees, any one of which undoubtedly tastes much better than the crap that typically fills her mouth, via her brain, at any given time.

Alas, they cannot afford to be this honest. Alas, also, that Malkin and her spittle-flecked ilk will no doubt see this as a some sort of victory, rather than what it is, which is a large corporation recognizing that some people are just too goddamn simple to attempt reason upon. I mean, really. I’m trying to imagine what it would take for me to believe either Dunkin’ Donuts or Rachel Ray is somehow down with the Intifada, and all I can think is that the number of hammer strikes it would require would knock me unconscious long before my brain could become that scrambled. But I suppose some folks are genuinely committed to such a path. Bless their hearts. Here’s a hammer.

123 Comments on “If Dunkin Donuts Could Afford to Be Honest”

  1. Not sure when “conservative” became a synonym for “paranoid, irrational, reactionary moron.”

  2. T.M. Wagner:

    It’s not. But certainly this incident doesn’t help the perception.

  3. At this rate we’ll soon have soundbites from the far right along the lines of:

    “Breaking News: Obama staffers caught using Arabic numbers in secret internal documents!”

  4. Yeah, to be clear, this has rather little with Malkin being conservative, and rather a lot with her being apparently insane.

  5. But think of the subliminal messages we are sending to the children.

    Seriously think of the children.

  6. In dealing with life, the first rule is that boys are dumb. The second rule, however, is that people are stupid.

    (I saw this last week, or over the weekend. I told The Fiancée that I couldn’t get too angry at it, because obviously these people are insane.)

  7. Oh those dirty Arabic numbers. We must ban them. Use good American numbers.

  8. go back to good old roman numerals is what I say. After all, who needs a nice simple 2008 when you can live in the gratuitously baroque year of MMVIII?

  9. All I can say is… Muslim Rachel Ray is going to be Barack Obama’s running mate? I didn’t even know she was into politics!

  10. Right idea with the hammer, John, but wrong head.

    This is bullying. Ignore it and keep running the ad. If it doesn’t go away, sue the holy living crap out of Malkin for defamation (only because inexplicably stupidity isn’t grounds for a tort).

  11. I’m going to start boycotting UPS. They are wearing brownshirts, after all.

    And American Idol, because one of the judges is named Paula Abdul. ABDUL, y’all! That’s, like, Arab shit.

  12. I congratulate Ms. Malkin and her compatriots for calling out the terrorist subversives (and revealing them for what they are) after fortunately recognizing the attire of the insurgency. Who would have thought that Rachel Ray was attempting to undermine the American Way® through food?

    What?! Obesity epidemic? OMG, teh terrists r winning!

  13. So what if she’s wearing a kiffiyeh? That’s the traditional dress for a lot of Arab coutries. I wear mine from time to time, and I’m proud to wear it. And I’m not even a muslim!

  14. Such a dilemma! Malkin has become a leader of right-wing hypersensitivity, which is somehow EVEN MORE irritating than other kinds of hypersensitivity…. but on the other hand, I’m not a big fan of Rachel Ray or Dunkin Donuts.

  15. If Rachael Ray had onlly worn an American flag pin on the scarf, Michelle Malkin’s head would have exploded.

  16. I bet they’re still selling Coffea arabica beans. Why does Dunkin’ Donuts hate America?

  17. Well, now we understand Rachael Ray the Hate Monger a little better, but seriously, the more important news is that Spam sales are rising!!!!

    I knew I should have invested more money into Spam Futures….

  18. I don’t think Malkin is actually that crazy. It seems more likely that she’s what we on the Internets have been calling “a troll” for a long time.

  19. Frank:

    Yeah, but that’s not much of a life for a grown-up, now, is it?

  20. Heh, didn’t say I thought it was mature. But it sure brings the eyeballs, which is what the big and small trolls alike are after.

  21. Who the hell makes connections like that? To pretty much it’s just a scarf worn by an overly perky food network guru…how the heck do you get from scarf to terrorist?
    I say they leave the commercial on. In all honesty I really doubt it would affect their sales…maybe it would…I might be a bit biased being in California. We, generally, don’t make silly connections like that…then again we have about 9 billion Starbucks out here so we’re probably not buying anything from Dunkin’ anyway…

  22. Interestingly, the keffiyeh is extremely popular in the British Army in hot countries, and has been since before WW2.

    Maybe they should pay Ms Malkin a visit to discuss the matter.

  23. @T.M. Wagner…

    When the Republican’s started riding the lunatic fringe to electoral success. Tradiitional conservatives (fiscal restraint, small government, relative lack of international involvement…) haven’t controlled the Republican Party for 25 years. Inviting intolerant religious fanatics into your party because they’re committed and will help elect people isn’t the best idea in the world.

    And before anyone starts typing… yes, I’m well aware there are reasonable conservatives and reasonable religious folks… Sadly, that’s not who the Republicans have courted for the last generation and it’s certainly not who has the influence in that party currently.

  24. “Anti-American fashion designers abroad and at home have mainstreamed and adapted the scarves as generic pro-Palestinian jihad or anti-war statements. Yet many folks out there remain completely oblivious to the apparel’s violent symbolism and anti-Israel overtones. Left-wing bloggers responded with complete scorn, deliberate mischaracterizations of the debate”

    I don’t even know what yellow ribbons stand for these days.

    It seems highly ineffective as a symbol if people don’t know the meaning of it. Like there are Terrorists seeing the commercial and thinking that RR and DD support them and it keeps them terrorizing because they feel the support.

  25. Does Malkin know that lots of hummus recipes can be found on the Food Network site? Let’s all send her a can of chick peas.

  26. I try to be bipartisan when I am discussing an issue. I will look at both sides and try to determine the best course of action or decision. It’s all about playing fair. Yet yesterday when looking at Ms. Malkin’s side of complaint, my head exploded.

    Of all the things wrong with this world at the moment, she wasted precious air (which will now be for sale in 20 ounce cans) on this piece of fantastic bullshit?

    It’s almost like the Pope criticising Madonna for wearing a cross around her neck when little boys were running from churches, crying.

    Note to Ms. Malkin: Start talking about shit that matters and maybe my logical brain will finally recover from your most recent asshattery.

  27. Well, as Merl Reagle pointed out in “Wordplay,” Dunkin’ Donuts is just an anagram for Unkind Donuts.

    Which prompts me to note that Michelle Malkin is just another way of spelling Malice Hell Mink.

  28. What do you expect from someone who frequents FOX News. Sanity? Living in reality?

    Everyone there is a joke.

    I say we all go and buy a dozen donuts, wrap them in an *actual* kiffiyeh, and send them to Malkin. And make sure they are powdered donuts, so she can immediately think that the they are tainted with anthrax.

  29. Good Lord. I wore a scarf that looked more like a Keffiyeh on an almost daily basis during my time in the middle-east. It’s extremely useful in dusty country not to mention as a shade in the sun and as a warm wrap in the cold. Perhaps the fact that I was killing jihadists would have mitigated Ms. Malkin’s reaction to the power of my “insidious symbols.” Or maybe not, stupid is stupid.

  30. ‘liberals’ do crap like this all the time. it’s not a liberal/conservative thing. it’s more of a ‘everyone should do what i do and think what i think’ problem. those types belong to every political party that exists. what is sad is that there are people who will realize how idiotic it is when someone from the other side brings it up, but think it makes sense when it is coming from the home team.

    i find solace in the knowledge that just about anyone who makes a living in politics – by being involved directly or indirectly – is in all likelihood the kind of person you’d want to load on a space ship full of phone sanitizers and send very far away.

  31. The kaffiyeh is worn on the head, and as far as I know do not have a fringe. It is also a man’s garment. I don’t know for sure, but in the Islamic world, I would think a woman would not be allowed to wear one. I’m conservative, and I think Ms. Malkin did a real disservice here. The faux quote at the beginning of the article is actually very funny.

  32. Sigh. What is it about having X number of eyeballs reading one’s work daily that makes people take themselves too seriously. (Present host excluded, and thanked for making a point of not taking himself too seriously.) Somebody needs to step into Bill Buckley’s shoes and read the nutters out of the conservative movement again.

    This also beautifully illustrates the problem with over-focusing on one issue. One tends to lose perspective. I mean two seconds of honest thought would have led a sane person away from accusing a TV celebrity and Dunkin’ Donuts of being active supporters of anything but selling cold, coffee-flavored milk for a ridiculous profit.

  33. Brett L:

    “Present host excluded, and thanked for making a point of not taking himself too seriously.”

    Well, and even if I did, I don’t think most of the commenters here would let me get away with it, do you?

  34. The scariest thing is that the US Border Patrol has been running recruiting ads on Malkin’s site and other Pajamas Media affiliates.

    Yes, the sort of people we want doing that are the kind of people who get their knickers in a twist over a paisley scarf. Yep. Perfect hiring, there.

  35. Terrorist supporters or not, that scarf on her looked hedious, and is it me or does ratchell ray look evil with that jet black hair. Ever since that dye job she hasn’t looked right.

  36. “Hi, I’m the president of Dunkin’ Donuts. Not that long ago, we decided to hire Rachel Ray to plug our products because, annoying as she is to listen to, you gotta admit she’s cute as a bug. And she has a lot of fans who’d drink motor oil if she told them that the 40-weight helps lower cholesterol. (It doesn’t, by the way. I’m just saying.) So we hire her and film some cute commercials and we figure we’re going to make out like bandits with this ad campaign.

    “Then along comes this Michelle Malkin, a pundit who apparently lives in some faraway country where all the legitimate social and political issues were settled a long time ago. At a loss for what to complain about, she goes after our Rachel for wearing what Malkin thinks is a kiffiyeh, some kind of Arab scarf. We are surprised on several counts: (a) we thought it was a regular old scarf, (b) we can’t for the life of us figure out how wearing a kiffiyeh makes you a terrorist sympathizer (if it did, wouldn’t smart terrorist sympathizers stop wearing them?), and (c) Michelle Malkin knows how to spell kiffiyeh? And who would be dumb enough to believe what Malkin is saying in the first place?

    “So we do a little market research and find out something crucial: stupid people buy donuts. Not only stupid people, mind you, because we know for a fact that more than one Nobelist has expressed a love of the Bavarian Cremes. But stupid people are an important part of the donut-buying demographic, and ignoring them could be costly. And some of these people are really mind-numbingly stupid; we’ve been sued by customers who got donut filling in their noses, or broke their wrists opening the little bag the donuts were in, or other stuff you wouldn’t even think was physically possible. For those folks, believing Michelle Malkin would be a, uh, no-brainer.

    “We could take a stand, refuse to pander to stupid people, and suffer the consequences. Or we could apologize to the stupid people and hope that the whole thing blows over. I’ve got principles, believe me, but I’ve also got stockholders and a boat payment. So, Ms. Malkin, we’re sorry. Really, really sorry. And just to show you that we’re dealing in good faith, we’re going to send you some free coupons. For Krispy Kreme.”

  37. “Ever since that dye job she hasn’t looked right.”

    When I saw the ad at the Dunkin site, I thought she had been badly photoshopped.

    Then she started moving and talking, so it wasn’t ‘shopped.

  38. Wow! I had to google to find out what all the fuss was about and who the involved parties were.

    Normally this would be the point that I say how glad I am to be in Australia where this sort of thing doesn’t happen, but given an outer-Sydney council has just refused planning permission for a Muslim school to be built in the area, mainly to placate racist residents and professional rabble-rousers from the religious right (Fred Nile and his ilk), that I realise we alre all in the same boat.

    As an aside, although I am Jewish, in winter I occasionally wear a kaffiyeh (as a neck scarf) that was given to me by a Palestinian activist at a May Day march in Melbourne in the 80’s. While wearing it, I was once spat on and abused by a Hasid while walking past the local synagogue.

  39. For the moment wikipedia has this to say about the matter

    “In May 2008, Dunkin’ Donuts yanked its ad featuring Rachael Ray wearing a scarf off the air after conservative columnists like Michelle Malkin called attention to the fact that the scarf vaguely resembled a keffiyeh if you’re a stupid conservative blogger”

    See how long that last

  40. When they came for Rachel Ray, I did not speak, because she gives me the heebie-jeebies.

    When they came for Dunkin’ Donuts, I did not speak, because all donuts are inferior to the Foster’s Strawberry Donut.

    When they came for Subway, I did not speak, because, dude. Subway blows.

    When they came for the kaffiyehs, I did speak, because I think they’re an excellent accessory.

  41. I don’t know, the phrase “E.V.O.O.” could be a jihadist plot to make me bash my own brains out with a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Sometimes I see her on TV and expect her to say “ROFL” or “kthxbye!”

  42. Subway and Dunkin: imaginary hobgoblins du jour. Either way, while this is stupid it doesn’t hold a candle to Bill O’Reilly’s “Crypto-secular-humanist profiteers in the back rooms of wall street” theory of oil prices – he knows attacking “Big Oil” doesn’t fit with his agenda, but he also knows that for an issue to be emotionally satisfying it needs a bad guy – a real explanation, like “demand is increasing rapidly and supply is not,” doesn’t really have a bad guy, so he peddles this lunatic theory about speculators (who, I’m sure, are also ACLU gay pornographers for NARAL – because that’s what would be convenient for Bill) and his viewers lap it up. It’s no better than a bad conspiracy theory.

  43. Sadly, this sort of thing is not without precedent

    A couple of month ago C&A, a Dutch clothing retailer active all over Europe, withdrew kaffiyeh inspired scarves from their stores after protests by a Jewish group and apologized for the supposed faux-pas. Never mind that C&A is no more likely to be a Hamas supporter than Dunkin Donuts and whoever that celebrity lady is.

    I’m actually old enough to remember the last time kaffiyeh type scarves were in fashion in the early 1980s. Back then no one except for a few rightwing fringe politicians had a problem with that and I suspect that the rightwing fringe politicians hated the scarves more because they were the preferred attire of the peace movement than because of any supposed terrorism connection.

  44. Malkin’s aiming to score pats on the head from the same dimwitted crowd that laps up those “OBAMA IZ TEH MUZZLIM” emails as gospel truth. The infuriated Liberals just give her bonus publicity. It’s all about hits and sweet advertising dollars.

    The great thing about America is that every adult citizen gets a vote…and the bad thing about America is that every adult citizen gets a vote.

  45. John,
    I really like your site and I am an evangelical Christian. Yes John 3:16 is for you too…if I can be forgiven anyone can. Needless to say I do not agree with many of your political positions but hey so what? You are an entertaining writer. I have only read The Androids Dream (your use too much foul language in some fo your writing) but I do enjoy your blog. Michelle Malkin is a national treasure. Those who think she is a ‘hate monger’ yet like the kos need to recheck their objectivity (if they deem themselves opbjective). What makes our country great is that we can have both and still keep on trucking. Cheers! Rick

  46. Rick, did any of us express affection for the kos in this thread? Michelle Malkin has been peddling fear because it’s cheap, easy, and renewable political energy.

  47. Well, maybe Dunkin’ Donuts was tired of being associated with police enforcement officials hanging out at their stores and were, you know, intending to change their market demographic.

  48. Rick, she didn’t get called a hate monger in this thread, she got called (or at least is now being called) a paranoid loon. With evidence.

  49. Alternative Eric @ 45 said:
    For the moment wikipedia has this to say about the matter

    “In May 2008, Dunkin’ Donuts yanked its ad featuring Rachael Ray wearing a scarf off the air after conservative columnists like Michelle Malkin called attention to the fact that the scarf vaguely resembled a keffiyeh if you’re a stupid conservative blogger”

    See how long that last
    It’s gone already. Rats.

  50. stoolpigeon–what liberal of Malkin’s prominence led a charge or made an obviously untrue claim like this recently? And had it taken seriously by the corporation in question?

    Rick–this thread is specifically about Michelle Malkin going after Dunkin Donuts because Rachel Ray wore a scarf.
    Here are some pretty straightforward questions for you:
    1) Do you believe that Rachel Ray chose to wear the scarf to symbolize support for terrorists?
    2) Do you think Rachel Ray supports terrorists?
    3) knowing she was appearing in a national ad campaign? If so, why?
    4) Do you believe Dunkin Donuts chose to run the ad to support terrorists?
    5) If your answer to any one of these is “No,” why do you suppose Michelle Malkin wrote what she did?

  51. Frank: Any sufficiently spittle-flecked troll is indisinguishable from an actual wingnut, and vice versa.

    Problem with a lot of Internet-popular trolls is that they start to build up a loyal fan base that not only believes and validates everything they say, but eventually they start believing their own BS. I don’t doubt that Malkin actually believes the crap she posts. At one time, maybe she didn’t, and thought it was fun to be asinine and call it “provocative”. But this particular crazy is something a self-aware troll wouldn’t post because it’s just too implausible. No, you have to be a real wackaloon to see “jihadi kaffiyeh” for “paisley neck scarf with fringe”.

  52. Rick wrote: “Michelle Malkin is a national treasure.”

    Nobody who, 60 years after the fact, writes a book in defending the WW2 internment of innocent Japanese-Americans has any business being called a “national treasure”.

  53. There were Chinese Americans who “looked Japanese” and were given crap during WWII. People with German last names were harassed during WWI. Looking like a group that bigots like Malkn perceive as the enemy is enough to get one in trouble if Malkin and her crew of attack poodles have anything to do with it.

    This is not some silly equivalent of an internet troll. This si someone with influence, who’s using it to attack people for just wearing clothes that might look Muslim.

    For god’s sake, she wrote a book defending the wartime internment of US citizens, including entire families, just because of ancestry. That’s not the work of a “national treasure” or troll. That’s someone who’s a sick hateful bigot. The fact that she has any influence is disgusting.

    If you’re a conservative, or trying to be bipartisan, jettison her as fast as you can. She’s just another Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, and if you stand next to her, you’ll find yourself standing next to the wost that the conservative movement has to offer.

  54. Popular internet trolls don’t get careers funded by Regnery Press. They certainly don’t get plunked onto FOX news as a fill in for Bill O’Reilley. They certainly don’t influence the arrest and continued illegal detention (under US and Iraqi law) of photographers who were found innocent in courts of law.

  55. Re: T. M. Wagner @#1:

    Not sure when “conservative” became a synonym for “paranoid, irrational, reactionary moron.”

    It’s not. But Fox News pundit is.

    Re: rick @#51

    Please do not feed the ricktroll.

  56. I wonder what she would think of someone like me, a nonreligious pretty white girl who winds her hair up in tichels when it gets too hot. And no, I do not leave my bangs or anything out, either. Half of my tichels have FRINGE too!!!!!! OMG. I’m totally a terrorist.

    I object to Ray-Ray doing DD commercials, but that’s because I object to her and her obnoxious voice being on my television, period. 30 Minute Meals is great…if you put it on mute.

  57. Michelle Malkin: “The War on Terror Scarves!”

    …I think you’re doing it wrong.

  58. Quoth Bob in #41:

    “Hi, I’m the president of Dunkin’ Donuts. […]

    But stupid people are an important part of the donut-buying demographic, and ignoring them could be costly. And some of these people are really mind-numbingly stupid; […]”

    You have no idea how relieved I am to know that the sanctioned enforcers of law in this, Our Fair Nation, are entirely outside of the donut-buying demographic. Otherwise I might be worried for Bob and anyone who pursues the course of ignoring the stupid.

    *rereads Day of the Moron by H. Beam Piper*

    Oh snap — we do have to pay attention to them for our own well-being. Thanks for the heads-up, John.

    Homer Simpson? You eat doughnuts? You are FIRED. Leave. Now.

  59. OT:

    “And how do you define the term ‘fool’, Mr. Melroy?” she asked. “Remember, it has no standard meaning. Republicans apply it to Democrats, and vice versa.”

    -- Dr. D. Warren Rives, _Day of the Moron_

  60. The kiffiyeh scarf is well accepted as a symbol of the Palestinians, a group that is violently hostile to the United States. By wearing it Rachel Ray is, in the eyes of many, marking herself as a supporter of the enemy.

    If you want to consider something equally offensive from a reverse angle, politically, consider the reaction if Ms. Ray had worn the Confederate battle flag as a scarf. Somehow I don’t think our host would be gently scoffing if she’d worn the stars and bars, some liberal columnist had a problem with it, and the sponsoring company beat a hasty retreat.

  61. But Johan, Ms. Ray *wasn’t wearing a kiffiyeh*. It was a women’s scarf that the stylist who dressed her probably bought for ten dollars at Ross Dress for Less.

    What is your argument, again?

  62. Johan, leaving aside the apparent ubiquity of the kiffyeh in the Arab world, which makes it difficult to argue that only terrorists and their supporters wear them, the minor flaw in the argument there is that she’s not wearing a kiffyeh scarf at all; it’s just some scarf that Michelle Malkin, et al, thinks kinda sorta looks like one. It’s not the fault of either Rachel Ray or Dunkin’ Donuts that Malkin and her biddies get hysterical over something that’s not actually there.

    Also, unless the kiffyeh is an actual officially acknowledged national symbol of the Palestinians, on the formal order of, say, a battle flag, your argument would still not be a good one. I’m not aware of the kiffyeh having such status, anymore than a baseball cap is an official symbol of the US.

  63. Julia@71: Here, have a tissue. That second paragraph was remarkably snotty.

    I accept it wasn’t a kiffiyeh, which does deflect some of the argument. But not all of it. I am not a skinhead, but might be mistaken for one with the right haircut and clothing. And I would go out of my way to avoid wearing such. Rachel Ray, it seems, either does not care that she might be mistaken for a Palestinian sympathizer, or did not realize she might be. And neither of these is to her credit. (In fairness, I suspect that second bit is by far the more likely.)

    Also, this isn’t just about Rachel Ray, it’s also about Dunkin Donuts, which isn’t interested in having an argument about semiotics. Once someone of prominence took exception, right or wrong, it makes perfect sense they pulled the ad. Because this just isn’t an argument they want to have.

    John@72: What, things like this need to be submitted to the UN Registrar of Political Semiotics now? Do you have their email? Of course, no such official status is necessary for clothing to be associated with political movements. If I dressed like this, you would be well within your rights to make some judgements about my politics and sympathies. You might be wrong, of course, but the assumption would be justified.

    You might start your reading here, which acknowledges the prominent association between these scarves and the Palestinian cause. Granted, the style has spread beyond it, but the linkage is still strong enough that it makes perfect sense Dunkin Donuts does not want anything to do with it. They’re a mundane chain that’s trying to sell itself as hip, not edgy.

  64. Johan:

    “I accept it wasn’t a kiffiyeh, which does deflect some of the argument. But not all of it.”

    Actually, yes, it does, all of it, completely. If it’s not a kiffyeh, it’s not a kiffyeh. Whether Michelle Malkin’s overfevered imagination sees it as one is entirely aside the point. Given Malkin’s general overheatedness when it comes to these particular subjects, she is no more a reliable judge of what looks like a kiffyeh than a religiously overwrought person is that a pattern on their grilled cheese sandwich looks like the baby Jesus.

    When you’re looking to be outraged, you’re going to find things to be outraged about. Malkin is looking to be outraged, and given that’s how she makes her name, it’s not in her interest to be rational. This does not mean rational people need to accept her argument, or buy an argument that suggests that a scarf that sorta kinda looks like something most every Arab man in the middle east wears from time to time is something that Rachel Ray and Dunkin Donuts should avoid, just in case Malkin or someone like her is looking for something to prod the credulous about.

  65. Johan: The kaffiyeh is the accepted headwear for almost every male in the Middle East, not just the small minority of Arabs called Palestinians. Nor do Palestinians comprise a group “violently hostile” to the U.S. I’ve lived there; all Palestinians want a passport that says they’re from a country called “Palestine”, but most otherwise just want to get on with their lives.

    The real lesson to be taken from this latest bit of Malkin’s vile is that she, and so many other Americans, are so ready to link anything remotely Arabic terror. That’s ignorance and bigotry, the stock in trade for hate vendors like Malkin.

  66. Oh God. Johan quoted wikipedia as solid and reliable source.

    *runs for a bomb shelter*

    Btw, if you read Malkin’s op, she doesn’t even confirm it is a keffiyeh. She assumes it, and we all know what happens when you assume, don’t we?

    “…the ubiquitous TV hostess, posed for one of the company’s ads in what appeared to be a black-and-white keffiyeh.”

    Note the key words “appeared to be”.

    I guess I won’t be wearing red (or pink) anymore either, as I don’t want to appear to be a communist supporter or sympathizer.

    I thought the spirit of McArthy was long gone, but apparently not.

    As far labelling Dunkin Donuts as “mundane” chain, you might want do a little research in that business related arena that isn’t composed of wikipedia articles. They are pretty damn big, holding their own next to Starbucks.

  67. Here’s what we need:
    Someone with some photoshop skills doctor up a photo of Miss Malkin with whatever she’s protesting and put ol’ Bin Laden in the photo for good measure. Then, we’ll all print out some copies, head to our local Dunkin Donuts, and tape them to the front doors of the building.

    This type of crap makes my stomach hurt, almost as much as drinking a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee.

  68. John, I disagree. When something is considered as a symbol, it’s not just authentic originals that are valid. A picture of a pipe isn’t a pipe, but a picture of a peace sign is a peace sign. And accordingly, it is enough in this case for the scarf to look a lot like a kiffiyeh. I mean, really, if someone took exception to my wearing the stars and bars (which I hasten to add I don’t do), it wouldn’t really be much of a defence to note that the pattern is square rather than rectangular and has white rosettes rather than stars. It’s still identifiably the same symbol, and has all the same associations with slavery and racism.

    If your argument is that the scarf doesn’t actually look much like a kiffiyeh, well, fine, we’ve reduced the issue to an inarguable point of aesthetic judgement. To me, and I suspect to others, the scarf looks plenty like one.

    Also, you keep returning to the point that keffiyehs are commonly worn in the middle east, and therefore nothing special. But Ray didn’t wear one in the middle east, and context matters. A suit worn in the office is unexceptionable, but one worn on the tennis court is valid cause for comment.

    Finally, I should make it clear that I am not arguing that Malkin is right, right, right. I suspect this was an oversight, and Malkin is milking it for attention and propaganda value. I am arguing merely that she has a point, and that Dunkin Donut’s pulling of the ad, given the reception, makes sense.

  69. I actually had one of the keffiyahs when they were around back in the 1980’s. I bought it, if I recall correctly, at Lerner’s.

    No doubt I helped inspire little jihadists all over the Mideast by wearing it around my freezing-cold, rural state college campus.

  70. >>”…When something is considered as a symbol..”

    This isn’t my fight, Johan, but the point is simply that the kaffiyeh is not an accepted symbol of terrorism. It’s a piece of headwear.

    The twisted logic seems to run like this: ‘Arafat wore a kaffiyeh. I think ‘Arafat was a baddie. Therefore, everyone who wears a kaffiyeh is a baddie.”

    I’d guess that most people who think like that have only seen one guy wearing a kaffiyeh — ‘Arafat — and that was on TV. These people don’t know what they are talking about.

    By the same twisted logic, everyone in the Middle East has reason to think anyone wearing a U.S. Army uniform is going to imprison them, strip them naked, abuse them, and take photos of it all.

    Malkin has no point. She’s a national embarrassment. She is merely playing to the ignorant bigots that live among us. Dunkin Donut’s should have ignored her. Better yet, they should have filmed a commercial with someone waring a real kaffiyeh.

  71. Johan @ 80: Keffiyah come in paisley now?

    Seriously, while I can see the argument that Westerners wearing keffiyah in certain patterns are showing sympathy for Palestinian liberation, that doesn’t mean that anyone wearing a black & white scarf is trying to subtly hint at their political leanings. Ray’s scarf was a black & white paisley, probably in silk, and it looks not a whit like the kind of keffiyah one sees adorning Palestinians. If that’s enough to get you labeled a terrorist sympathizer (and actually have anyone believe it, which is the crucial part), then I’d better go search through my mother’s extensive scarf collection, lest she find herself in trouble with some of her Republican coworkers.

  72. Also, this isn’t just about Rachel Ray, it’s also about Dunkin Donuts, which isn’t interested in having an argument about semiotics. Once someone of prominence took exception, right or wrong, it makes perfect sense they pulled the ad. Because this just isn’t an argument they want to have.

    Maybe I wouldn’t want to have an argument about whether a blue bandana tucked in my pocket makes me a Crip, but that wouldn’t mean that the pistol-waving thugs were right.

  73. Who knew there could be such a kerfuffle over accessories? I am, however, learning a whole lot about what to *call* these scarfy things I’ve been wearing all this time.

  74. If you squint your eyes and turn your head about 40 degrees to the right, Rachel Ray does indeed look Palestinian. Now I know how M.M. does all of her column-writing.

  75. From Scalzi’s original post: I’m trying to imagine what it would take for me to believe either Dunkin’ Donuts or Rachel Ray is somehow down with the Intifada…

    Crescent shaped donuts might give me enough room to argue for some sort of Arab Nationalism. Not enough to convince you though. But you’d know you’d been in an argument. After all we all know how much both latte drinking liberals and the French like crescent shaped donuts made from flaky pastry.

  76. This is such a bone headed thing that it makes me look elsewhere for an explanation. Has anyone considered stock price manipulation or some other form of financial jujitsu is in play?

  77. #67 Christopher Hawley (“Oh no, not again.”)

    OK, at the risk of appearing stupid: what the hell?

  78. Johan, consider this:

    Even if we grant every argument about Palestinian scarves you’ve made, what has Rachel Ray done wrong? How does wearing a keffiyah give aid and comfort to Hamas? How does this commercial reach any level of wrongdoing above “Faux pas?” It’s safe to assume that the accessory in question was purchased from a major retailer for a trifle of money, none of which went towards buying rockets for use against Israel.

    The current helmet design in use by the U.S. military strongly resembles the fritz helmet. Is the Pentagon subtly signifying support for the Nazis, or is it sometimes OK to ignore that someone else wore something useful?

    Wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses is not construed as a sign of support for the unabomber

    At this point, even wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt just makes you a tragicomic example of a poor deluded conformist.

  79. A number of units in the British Army wear the keffiya as part of their unofficial operational kit.

    Are we to treat the British Army as supporting, or being, a terrorist organisation ?

  80. PJ the Barbarian @ 90: Even if we grant every argument about Palestinian scarves you’ve made, what has Rachel Ray done wrong? How does wearing a keffiyah give aid and comfort to Hamas? How does this commercial reach any level of wrongdoing above “Faux pas?”

    What Rachel Ray did wrong was “make a fashion faux pas.” It gives aid and comfort to Hamas by allowing them a careless mistake which can be interpreted and spun as corporate support in the United States for their hateful, murderous agenda. While the photo does not reach above faux pas, the nature of a faux pas is that of an unwitting error which an informed person would not wish to repeat.

  81. PJ @ 90

    “Wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses is not construed as a sign of support for the unabomber”

    Hilariously perfect! I applaud you (commencing applause).

  82. “What Rachel Ray did wrong was “make a fashion faux pas.” It gives aid and comfort to Hamas by allowing them a careless mistake which can be interpreted and spun as corporate support in the United States for their hateful, murderous agenda. While the photo does not reach above faux pas, the nature of a faux pas is that of an unwitting error which an informed person would not wish to repeat.”

    Interpreted by whom ? Other than Michelle Malkin and other insane people ?

  83. The only way to avoid “faux pas” on this level (i.e., “somebody’s wearing something that might, POSSIBLY, be considered to look sort-of-kind-of-like something that has ever been worn by anybody within 1000 miles of Baghdad”) would be to film the next set of commercials with Rachel Ray naked.

    Which might attract some business, but I don’t think that’s the business they’re IN.

  84. …would be to film the next set of commercials with Rachel Ray naked.

    My gosh, he’s ON to something! I say go for it! ;)

  85. It gives aid and comfort to Hamas by allowing them a careless mistake which can be interpreted and spun as corporate support in the United States for their hateful, murderous agenda.

    I’m pretty sure that the interpretation and spinning began with domestic rightwingers throwin’ a hissy. I doubt Hamas even noticed up until then.

  86. gerrymander@92: She has also done her client, Dunkin Donuts, a disservice by linking the brand with Islamic terrorism.

    How strongly, in the minds of how many, and with what ultimate effect is uncertain. But I doubt the management of Dunkin Donuts is happy with her.

    mjfgates@95: Since the seriousness of this is at least debatable, I think Dunkin Donuts would have done better to play this up for laughs as an overreaction by Malkin than as an error on their part. And just to rub it in, shoot a quickie series of commercials with Rachel Ray talking up Dunkin Donuts while wearing a range of middle-eastern headgear: cookies+fez, headscarf+coffee, turban+donuts, … Apologies rarely play well, controversy draws attention, and attention rarely hurts. Then hope the laughing liberals outnumber the grumbling conservatives.

  87. I agree, bald white guys should wear hats so I don’t have to think about skinheads when I look at them. Why just last night I saw a bald white guy flaunting his pink scalp shamelessly at the world. *And* he had a tattoo-which everyone knows is heavily associated with white supremacist culture.

    You’d think a young gay man working in the Castro district would know better. Tsk, for shame.

  88. Neil W (#87): Re the crescent shaped “croissant”: there’s even more irony, here. This shape of pastry is probably as old as pagan devotion to Astarte and other moon divinities, but some historians think it gained a new meaning in France in the 16th century, when the war between France and Spain lead to king Francis I of France to search alliance with the Turks, who were then the arch-enemies of highly catholic Spain. Of course, it was a daring move for a Christian monarch, but “the enemy of my enemy”… So it was that crescent shaped pastries began to appear at royal banquets in honor of the Ottoman sultan’s envoys.

    But the history of crescent-shaped pastries has a few more ironies. The Ottoman empire went on for centuries to be the #1 enemy of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg dynasty (and a sometimes ally to France). But when, in 1689, the Turks were soundly defeated near Vienna, Austrian bakers began to make crescent shaped pastries too, but this time in honor of the victory over the Turks and their crescent flags.

    The lesson here is not clear, except that you can eat croissants whatever your stance on the “clash of civilizations”. But maybe not under Michelle Malkin’s ever-watchful eyes…

  89. Johan @98 and gerrymander @92:
    It is Malkin who has linked Dunkin’ Donuts with Islamic terrorism. Even if you treat the kaffiyeh connection as legitimate, it’s Dunkin’s ad agency who is responsible for the content of the advertisement, not Ray.

    If I were Dunkin’ Donuts, I’d cut off coffee to Fox News employees until I received an apology. When you control the supply of an addictive substance, you should be the one making the demands.

  90. Johan, I think, is just seeing how far he can spin this out, i.e. giving credence to the old line about wrestling a pig.

  91. The analogy to liberals getting upset about someone wearing a Confederate battle flag scarf is not apt. The better analogy would be to liberals getting upset because someone was wearing a scarf that appeared to have red, white, and blue in it, concluding it was a Confederate battle flag, and then concluding that the wearer supported slavery.

    Another apt comparison: someone flying into a rage about racism because a public official used the word “niggardly.” Or “picnic.”

    I can’t say that I blame Dunkin Donuts. They’re in the business of selling donuts. They aren’t in the business of standing up to nutters. It’s a perfectly rational business decision to say “yes, yes, we’re really very sorry about … uh … the scary scarf .. I guess.”

  92. Dammit, now I want croissants. A LOT of croissants. I will have my revenge, Dunkin Donuts. Oh yes, I will have my revenge…right after I go buy lots of croissants.

    DAMMIT! And HEAT them this time!

  93. justcorbly@82: “Better yet, they should have filmed a commercial with someone waring a real kaffiyeh.”

    No, what they should have done was film somebody wearing a checkered flag as a kaffiyeh, arranged it so that the pattern could be mistaken for the more open pattern that’s apparently considered a symbol, wait for Malkin and others to blow up …

    … and then pointedly ask what Malkin et al. have against NASCAR fans. Drive a wedge in there.

  94. Bob@89:
    Mea culpa. You didn’t say that, those were the words of the President of D.D. and the misattribution is my fault.

    But the second-hand dialogue was just too good to pass by — particularly the implied “donut-buyers are stupid” message, which has no correlation with real life at all. None whatsoever.

    *goes back to watching the near-daily COPS marathon (which is surprisingly free of baked torii)*

  95. At the risk of further inflaming racial tensions, I’ll note that the scarf, to my eyes, more closely resembles a Jewish prayer shawl than a keffiyeh.

    But that means that Oh Noes! The Jews are supporting Islamic terror!!!1!

  96. Dean, you’re right! That scarf looks a lot like a tallis. For years I’ve been supporting Islamic terrorism and was completely unaware of it! I feel a bit sheepish.

  97. I think if someone wore a Hamas battle flag as a scarf, Johan would have a point. But doing the kaffiyeh -> Arafat -> Palestine -> Hamas -> Terrorist hopscotch dance isn’t equivalent to the Confederate battle flag. An effective correlation to this, even if it was right, which I’m not prepared to grant, is if she had worn something that a lot of Confederate soldiers wore when fighting for the destruction of the United States.

    Something like, I don’t know, a gray jacket. Like this one.

  98. Oh my effing invisible god.

    I can tell you with certainty: if this even became even the slightest, tiniest issue here in Australia you’d be able to hear the ridicule-induced laughter clear across the Pacific ocean. What the hell is wrong with conservatives in the US that they see terrorists lurking in every goddam corner? And what the hell is wrong with everyone else in the political & media circuses that they let them get away with this McCarthyist bullshit? Seriously! How about a public smackdown for wossname Malkin somewhere other than the blurgosphere? Jeeeeeezuz…

  99. I could be wrong, because I know lots of places have become much more health conscious, but the last time I was in a DD (early ’80s), they were frying the doughnuts in lard. A friend worked there, told me about cleaning out the fryer once a week, and replacing it with the smooth, clean lard.

    Made from pigs, lard is. No Muslim on the planet would be caught laying a finger on a doughnut cooked so, or frequenting an establishment that made them.

  100. Hey, you know, I can link Michelle Malkin with terrotsts. She pals around with a known white supremacit group known as “V-Dare”. White supremacists were responsible for the Oklahoma City bombings. Thus Malkin is even more or a terrorist simp than Rachel Ray is.

    Unlike wearing a freaking paisley scarf that some complete moron might mistake for an Arabic headscarf, Malkin actually communicates with white nationalists, many of whom include violent racist skinheads and terrorists.

    Funny how none of the people condemning Rachel Ray for paisley scarf seem to care about that. How many of them do you think are in some neo-nazi border millitia anti government group?

  101. Mycroft W – That’s nothing Check this out.

    Michelle Malkin, with a keffiyah. Yep, that’s right, if we’re going to call what Rachel Ray was photographed with one, this counts too.

    Classic red and white. Checker pattern. What might be Islamic knotwork.

    Oh my god! Someone arrest her before she allows Osama Bin Ladin access to Fox News, and blows them all up! Lock her in Gitmo, waterboard her, throw her into some “stress positions” for a while, and if that don’t work, give her the “extreme rendition” process to a country with some hot coals and bamboo slivers under her fingernails.

    It’s the only way to get the truth out of her!

  102. Forgive me if this point has been made (who has time to read?) but if we are to ID terrorists by what they wear shouldn’t we be checking for underpants? I mean, don’t terrorists generally wear them? Michelle may let the breezes in, but your average suicide bomber wouldn’t be caught dead without clean BVDs. (Consider those virgins…) What would his mom think?

  103. But Ray didn’t wear one in the middle east, and context matters.

    Even if we were to assume that she was wearing a keffiyah, that doesn’t change much. You’re right, context matters. And the context here is of a woman wearing one in a commercial to sell coffee and breakfast foods in North America TO North Americans, wearing one in a fashion that isn’t even similar to how that particular faction wears it.

    But the fact is that it’s NOT a keffiyah, it’s a scarf that vaguely looks like one. (A Paisley scarf, for that matter. Not Arafat’s trademark ‘spider-web’ pattern nor the PLO’s red, black and white.) Which is not hard, since a keffiyah IS a scarf. One worn all over the middle-east and by Palestinians of all political stripe…because it’s a useful piece of clothing. If you want to see one, go watch the Transformers movie…some of soldiers sport them, particularly the design favored by the SAS. But somehow that REAL use of one gets ignored in favor of a perceived use of one in the Ray ad. WEIRD.

  104. Greg # 56,

    Ok… all valid points and I concur that it was an over reaction. Thanks for how you pointed that out. Rick

  105. This reminds me of all the back and forth about Obama’s Arab connections and if he is or ever was or even thought about being a Muslim. In all the defense saying that he isn’t, no one thinks to say, “So what?”

    So what if it were a keffiyah? A lot of Americans would get to show how ignorant they are of the Arab world. Maybe we should learn a bit more about that world and its culture beyond how many gallons of oil are under Middle East sands.

    Michelle Malkin owes the Arab population a huge apology.

  106. I’d comment on Michelle Malkin’s blog, but I suspect she would just edit my comments when I call her ignorant and reactionary.

  107. Upon reflection it is a viral marketing campaign, consider.
    1. Nobody in their right mind will really consider it a keffiyah, unless someone points it out, and the defense is it a paisley scarf.
    2. Nobody in their right mind think Duncan Donuts or Rachel Ray supports terrorism.
    3. A quick apology, retraction of the ad and the finger pointed at a wardrobe assistant, “hey we all make mistakes but we fixed it”.
    4. In a column today about the affair (NYT) indicated that companies who make these “innocent errors” are not punished by the public for their “mistake”. This is not a moon and stars logo that the wing nuts can freak out about it is an insensitive wardrobe oversight.
    5. Malkin is a hard righty and the Carlyle Group (owns DD) is a Bush involved entity, it certainly passes the old boy test.
    I think some marketing wizzo, managed to get a favor called in on Malkin and created a highly effective viral campaign. The effect of which exceeded the reach and cost of the original ad by an order of magnitude (I think it exceeded their expectations as well).
    In a day an ages where models are paid to solicit brand drinks in trendy night clubs or wear and use certain gimzmos in prominent places, is this over the top? I think not. Malkin shoots her mouth off about all sorts of off the wall stuff. If it fizzled so what if it took off, and it did, how many millions was this worth?
    Everyone now knows DD makes sweet coffee drinks, has no bad feeling about DD, feels sorry for Rachel Ray and has had a good time lightly debating the subject. Liberals get a solid “those dumb neocon talking heads” moment (as do any rational conservatives) those on the right with a more vivid bent feel good that one of their culture warriors got a corporation back in line. Everyone wins except Starbucks. Someone’s going to get a Viral Addy for this, great job whoever you are.

  108. You know, I’ve heard that American and British soldiers regularly where those kiffiyeh scarves. They are practical attire for the conditions where sand often gets blown in your face. Also they look cool.

    This is just one of those weeks when a variety of people are spouting off about nutty stuff and the news pundits are flogging it for all they are worth. Not only does a weird blogger say certain fashion accessory make you a terrorist sympathizer, but Sharon Stone says the Chinese deserved that earthquake and many political talking heads seem to think Obama should be held accountable for what some Catholic priest said at his church (Obama wasn’t even there).

    This crap is news? No wonder I hardly turn on the TV anymore.

  109. Behold, a picture of one of McCain’s spawn wearing what appears to be an actual shemagh, and not just a scarf that vaguely resembles one if you squint hard and are an idiot:


    I assume Malkin will demand that he disown his daughter immediately.

    Sigh. At one point, I actually owned an authentic Jihadi Keffiyeh, taken from an honest-to-“Bob” insurgent’s arms cache. Yes, technically it was a violation of the “No trophies” policy for me to swipe it, but c’mon, we were gonna blow up everything in the cache anyway, which no-one would admit to owning, so what was the harm? Alas, while I was laundering my ill-gotten head gear someone stole it from the washing machine. Bastards. Must have been one of the Zoomies on the FOB, I’d prefer to believe that my fellow grunts wouldn’t have been so crass. :-P

  110. You’d think that the people who would suspect terrorist sympathies probably haven’t even *seen* a keffiyeh, so the whole thing should have been a non-issue.

  111. I have traveled to middele east, and see the coffeah,its just a scraf, come on people its just a traditonal thing that people wear it there,dont be silly that much, and the pepole that i have met there are verey kind, may be better than us, we cant judge on the whole arab or muslim or what ever becouse of a few terrorest, what we are doing now about this scarf, will creat the terror, becouse when the Arab see that we fight every thing related to them even if it was the scarf, that will make them hate us,
    we should be more mature, and thanks

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